Nottingham Forest snags surprise point from meandering Chelsea
Taiwo Awoniyi and Raheem Sterling traded braces as Nottingham Forest snared a valuable point against Chelsea in a 2-2 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Awoniyi led off the scoring with a powerful header only to see Sterling strike twice for Chelsea early in the second half before snapping a second header past Edouard Mendy to level the score.
Chelsea caretaker Frank Lampard was bidding for back-to-back wins after a 3-1 win at Bournemouth but instead all but cements a bottom-half finish to his time as caretaker manager of his beloved club.
Forest gets another big result after beating Southampton 4-3 on Monday. Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees are three points clear of 18th-place Leeds United with two matches left on their Premier League docket.
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Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest player ratings: Stars of the Show
Blues sad season continues as Tricky Trees strengthen roots
Chelsea fans might’ve felt a bit of normalcy when Raheem Sterling snapped his second goal of Saturday home.
After all, Sterling was one of the big buys meant to show that Chelsea wasn’t going to falter under new ownership this season.
But that’s not what’s happened, and Steve Cooper’s Forest never backed down despite the pressure of a relegation fight and the stage of Stamford Bridge.
The mystique just isn’t at “The Bridge” right now and Chelsea’s next boss is going to have to find a way to rebuild it with meaning and not words. Lampard might’ve been an okay caretaker to get to the end of the season, but substance must arrive in a new system.
Forest might just have that system, as Cooper and Co. will have learned a lot from this season if they survive into year No. 2. And with players like Renan Lodi, Morgan Gibbs-White, and big striker Taiwo Awoniyi, they do look fit to see their way into another top-flight season (though anything can happen).
Chelsea goes to Man City on Sunday, May 21, a day after Forest hosts Arsenal at 12:30pm ET Saturday.
Taiwo Awoniyi goal video: Towering header opens scoring
Raheem Sterling goal video: England forward cleans up double deflection
Raheem Sterling goal video: Drilled shot defies Navas
Taiwo Awoniyi goal video: Tricky Trees level
How to watch Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET TV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Lampard is rotating his side around to give everyone a chance but N’Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher are building some chemistry in central midfield. Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling were excellent off the bench at Bournemouth and are pushing for a start.
Forest had so many big displays in their win against Saints as Brennan Johnson, Morgan Gibbs-White and Taiwo Awoniyi all delivered when their team needed them most. Defensively they looked shaky but going forward Forest are very dangerous on the counter.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Kalidou Koulibaly (hamstring), Mason Mount (groin), Marc Cucurella (thigh), Reece James (thigh), Marcus Bettinelli (undisclosed), Armando Broja (torn ACL – out for season)
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Neco Williams (head), Dean Henderson (thigh), Chris Wood (thigh), Cheikhou Kouyate (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf), Gustavo Scarpa (knee), Jack Colback (concussion), Jonjo Shelvey (undisclosed)